Thursday, September 29, 2005

Need Spinning Help!!! Here is one bobbin filled with a lovely mystery batt that I spun. It seems to be wool and mohair. I bought it too long ago to know for sure. It's in aqua, turquoise, baby blue and black. I am just getting back into spinning. I would say it has been ten years at least since I used my wheel last and I was a beginner then. As a matter of fact you can see the dust on the right end of the bobbin! LOL I had troubles starting out but towards the end I got more comfortable with my drafting and was able to get a mostly consistent fingering weight which was my goal. What I really wanted was a fingering weight single to make a scarf with in a simple lace. I am spinning on an Ashford Traditional in case that information will be helpful for you to answer my questions. I am having the usual beginner's issues. I am getting too little or too much spin in. I was trying not to get it too tight but then my yarn pulled easily apart. So I sped up a little on the treadle and it spun tighter. I don't want to spin string though, I'd like it to stay somewhat soft and I wanted it to be a single so I am wondering if I already have too much spin in it to use that way. I have posted pictures below of the over spun curling back on itself. (I hope I am making sense) If you have any pointers, please share! I know very little about spinning except that I love it! :o) I don't understand all the ratios and drives and so on and I do have a couple books but no quiet time to read them yet. So I'm spinning by the seat of my pants and don't know how fast to treadle or anything. If you think I can still use this as a single, can I soak it and hang it to set the twist and that will take care of it? Or should I ply it with something to untwist those areas? I was thinking if I had to ply it maybe I could find a wool that is dyed black and spin a lace weight to play with it because I don't want it to be too thick. Okay. I am talking in circles now so I am going to quit before I trip over my tongue! LOL I hope someone will post some help for me! Thanks in advance! Posted by Picasa

Here is the yarn, pulled off. The beginning of my bobbin probably has DK weight yarn but towards the end it got really consistent at a fingering weight with some areas getting a little lighter at a laceweight. This is NOT one of the consistent areas unfortunately but is just the end...I didn't want to pull off too much. Posted by Picasa

This is a close up so you can see. It was probably a bad section to show because at the end, the last yard or so, I had some slubs and inconsistencies that I didn't have in the other part. I would say that I have these overspun areas that loop back on themselves about one every foot or so of yarn. Posted by Picasa

I can't say who this hat is for beause they might read the blog! :o) Ths is done with Lamb's Pride worsted in winter blue and white using a Green Mountain Spinnery pattern I bought more than ten yaers ago for $2. This is the second hat I made from the pattern and I have a third on the needles now, so I've gotten my money's worth out of it. The nice thing about this pattern is that it has a knit facing the width of that patterned part, which you knit first, then knit a purl row to help it 'bend' and then you knit the pattern and when you get to the end of the pattern, you pick up every other stitch of the cast on and knit it together with your stitches that are on the needle, essentially 'sewing' it up. This has two functions. For the knitter it covers up the stranding, which also helps the wearer of the garment because nothing gets stuck on the strands pulling it on and off. The second function it serves is creating a really warm band to go around the head at the level of the ears. It fits snuggly as it is intended for use, not just being pretty. It is satisfying to have a small project because you have finished objects sooner! :o) Posted by Picasa

It was hard to get a picture of this. That fuchsia yarn is reall HOT fuchsia. It's Lamb's Pride worsted. I have always enjoyed knitting with that wool. I started this about ten years ago so this is really keeping in theme with my blog and inline with my goals. As it turns out it is going to be a present for a teenager this winter and I have enough of the Lamb's Pride to do the wavy rib scarf over at Sorry I don't have a specific URL, but when I saw it I thought it would be perfect for the person I am sending it to. The other yarn in the hat is a mohair blend, a deep burgandy color with nubs of the same hot fuchsia in it...who would have known, two yarns with that same color!? LOL The ribbing on the hat is a mock cable. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Getting To Know Me...

Getting to know all about me...okay, I'm a nut, there's no hiding the fact. So I'll just get right to the post! :o)

TEN YEARS AGO: I traveled to Germany for the wedding of Thomas and Jutta who has been my German penpal since 9th grade in 1981. I also had the beginnings of a serious illness as of yet undiagnosed, but I began suffering from headaches. I was also selling some of my photography in enlargements, greeting cards, and bookmarks. I was living with my best friend Shelley (who I miss!!!)in Washington State. Alice Starmore came to town and I took her classes in Aran knitting and Gansey knitting.

FIVE YEARS AGO: I was mourning the death of my father and we were taking a break in trying to conceive a baby (we now have three children, praise God!). I had lived in California for two years and was just starting to get used to it. My main hobby activity at the time was scrapbooking.

ONE YEAR AGO: We had just gotten home from a wonderful vacation visiting family in Washington State and British Columbia, Canada and I began having asthma attacks. I started a beginning quilting class where I met Amy and she re-introduced me to knitting, which I had set aside when I began having chronic migraines. I had forgotten how much I loved it and she got me addicted again! :o)

FIVE SNACKS: 1. Caramel or caramel/chocolate (King Size Milky Way) 2. Toffee (like Skor candy bars) 3. Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, especially the holiday ones which are bigger and thicker 4. peanuts 5. oatmeal allspice cookies

FIVE SONGS I KNOW ALL THE WORDS TO: 1. Jesus Loves Me 2. You Are My Sunshine 3. Barney "I Love You" song 4. Because He Lives 5. Amazing Grace

FIVE THINGS I WOULD DO WITH $100 MILLION: 1. Tithe/charities 2. help family and friends 3. travel 4. buy land/build house 5. start a business/invest

FIVE PLACES TO RUN AWAY TO: 1. UK (can't I'll visit the whole kingdom!) 2. Sweden 3. Austria/Germany 4. New Zealand 5. my ancestral homes in US and Europe

FIVE THINGS I WOULD NEVER WEAR: 1. mini skirt 2. bikini 3. body piercings 4. shoes with high pointy heels 5. anything body revealing in public

FIVE FAVORITE TV SHOWS: when I watched tv 1. Divine Design 2. Monarch of the Glen 3. Changing Rooms 4. Simply Quilts 5. anything with figure skating

FIVE BIGGEST JOYS: 1. my faith in my Lord Jesus Christ 2. my husband and kids 3. my Mom/family 4. photography 5. all my creative pursuits

FIVE FAVORITE TOYS: 1. computer 2. books 3. sewing machine 4. camera 5. scrapbooking supplies

Monday, September 26, 2005

Knitting Christmas!

Well, this weekend it felt like knitting Christmas for me! I think I may have mentioned in a previous post that I made a trade of my AS Fair Isle Without Fear video for A Gathering of Lace by Meg Swansen and money for Myrna Stahman's Shawls and Scarves book. Well, I got the money and ordered Myrna's book from Kirtland's Yarn Barn and the Swansen book is coming soon. Myrna Stahman's book came as well as the Fiddlesticks Knitting Creastures From the Reef shawl pattern! Lots of eye candy. I must say that I like almost every one of the shawls and scarves in the Stahman book. There are so many scarves I lost count and many beautiful shawls. So it really is worth the $30 especially when you consider that the Creatures of the Reef shawl pattern was $9.50 just for one. There is a lot of instruction and background as well. Unfortunately I have not had time to sit down and read through it. I do already have a mental list made of the shawls I want to make for people! It really felt good to wait so long for something I wanted and then be able to barter for it!

If that was not enough I did splurge a little money, but too much. Michael's had a 50% off coupon and I got myself The Knitting Experience 2: The Purl Stitch by Sally Melville. When I first came back to knitting and heard everyone talking about her books I was a little skeptical. I'm not a professional knitter but I do have quite a bit of experience and it sounded like a "beginner's book". But after checking out the Knit Stitch at the library I really liked it and was convinced otherwise. It is beginner, but also a reference and also has some classic patterns in it for both adults and kids.

Another thing I am doing is going through my stash today and finding yarn, needles, magazines and books to give to the Restash Network. Many knitters lost everything in the hurricanes. I know it's not as important as health, food, water and so on, but knitting does soothe the soul and I'm sure it is felt as a loss! Well, I'm off now to continue going through my stash and drool on my new books!

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Poodle Puke? Huh?! Earlier this summer a knit blog I saw featured a "pony puke poncho" (I'm sorry that I don't know who you are to give you credit). She referred to that because of the pastel variegated yarn her daughter picked out...kind of like "my little pony" got sick all over it! :o) Well I joked to dh that my ponch is the "poodle puke poncho" (puke btw was not a word I was allowed to say growing up...I can kind of see my Mom's point! LOL). I called it this because it a Bernat's Baby Boucle in a pink/lavender/blue color. The boucle is reminiscent of poodle fur. I got the pattern free from Bernat's website and I do like how the poncho turned out, cute and basic, but I hate knitting with the Baby Boucle. It snags, tears and has a plastic like feel to it (although the ponch itself feels soft!). So, I should say that NO! I did not make this for my son. He is modeling it because today it is going to be a birthday gift. He got invited to his little friend's Princess Birthday Party! :o) He just loves to watch me knit and wanted to model it. Posted by Picasa

Here is a picture of it blocking. It has seed stitch on the bottom, which is supposed to keep it from rolling up...but it doesn't! I discovered that the acrylic does not dry as fast as wool and so I had to toss it in the dryer and so it still curls a little in one spot, but isn't real noticable. Who knows what it will look like after a four year old has it on and plays in it! LOL Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Knit Blessings

Well, God and the mail man had perfect timing today. I have been too sad to post the last few days adn today has been especially hard as it is Nancy's funeral and I cannot be with my family. I keep looking at her picture on the blog and I can't wrap my mind around the fact that she is not there anymore. I accept it and I have had much loss in my life. But maybe because I am not with my family, not grieving in the physical presence of those I love, some of it seems off in the distance. I suspect this is perfectly normal. Not being there doesn't mean I can't do anything, so I have been using the time to pray for everyone who is. For the strength to endure this day, for peace of heart and mind and the ability to keep putting one foot in front of the other each day as they walk through even greater grief than my own. I have a great family and they have great church and family/friend support. We will all be okay, but we still miss her.

Well, I titled this blessings. The thing that Nancy loved second only to her love of God and family, is a good bargain and she knew where to find all the cool stuff! So, I was blessed today with my great bargains which I am sharing with you below in a picture. The lighting is not so great. Sorry. Knit Picks is a blessing to me because I cannot afford the name brand quality I enjoy from the stores right now. But I still have projects to do that need yarn that I don't have in my stash. Initially I placed the order for another skein of Cloud in Autumn to make Kiri bigger. I also got some merino to play with dyeing in both lace and sock weight, some Grape Jelly lace weight Shadow merino to make a shawl for a special person and some of their Essential sock weight wool to make a pair of socks for another special somebody. Names are disguised to protect the innocent from knowing their gifts ahead of time! LOL

No time to knit now, but I wanted to post this and I am glad for having something positive on this sad day! Maybe tomorrow I will get a chance to post about my current knitting project!

The goods...L to R Knit Picks Color Your Own merino sockweight yarn, Cloud lace weight baby alpaca in Autumn, Paint Your Own lace weight merino, Shadow merino laceweight in Grape Jelly (this looks a little less red in person) and in front 2 skeins of Knit Picks Essential sock yarn in the color Pine (I think!) Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Victory In Jesus...

Oh victory in Jesus
My Savior forever.
He sought me and bought me
With His redeeming blood
He loved me ere I knew Him
And all my love is due Him.
He plunged me to victory
Beneath the cleansing flood.
by E.M. Bartlett
1 Corinthians 15:57
"But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."
Today Nancy, a dear cousin, friend and sister in the Lord left her life walking on this earth to continue her eternal life with God. We rejoice! Hallelujah! We sing this song which Nancy sang with my Mother only a couple weeks ago, with crackling voices and tears. Our hearts, responding in great faith, proclaim Hallelujah! But on earth we still feel the loss...a big hole that was left, when Nancy lost her many years long battle with ovarian cancer. Today she was healed and went Home. Was Nancy perfect? No. Sometimes we (I) wax poetic about someone who is not here to let us down or alter our perceptions. I'm sure Nancy had many faults as we all do, but what she always displayed to me, was unconditional love! She has made an indelible mark on my life. The waiting is over. Her waiting is over. She is celebrating victory in Jesus!
No law says I have to talk only about my knitting life on this blog! So do forgive me if I have taken a little break. Some things in life truly are more important. If you're reading this...go hug someone you love and tell them how much they mean to you! Yes, it sounds schmaltzie but it's not something you'll regret!
Below is a picture of our beautiful Nancy...always full of grace and stylish to the end. In this picture she was modeling the Shetland Garden Faroese shawl. This was taken August 21, 2005.
If you're still reading and you are a prayer warrior, please pray for Nancy's husband Tom and her/our family as they grieve. Thank you.

Beautiful Nancy...Cancer can not ravage true beauty, which Nancy possessed inside and out! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Another Non-Knitting Crazy Blog Thing

Your Brain's Pattern

Your brain is always looking for the connections in life.
You always amaze your friends by figuring out things first.
You're also good at connecting people - and often play match maker.
You see the world in fluid, flexible terms. Nothing is black or white.

I just have to laugh at some of these things. I keep seeing them on other blogs and I thought I would do this one. I've always been a pretty black and white thinker...I see the shades of gray but I decide black and white. I'm sure that some of that is because of my faith in God, but I believe I was born with some of that too because I see it in DS who is almost 4 and has exhibited these traits all along! I think what this little game is telling me is that I still love the color purple and that the other swirly designs activated my migraine symptoms! LOL

Monday, September 12, 2005


This is not about knitting. This is about waiting and life and grief...sometimes these things push even knitting aside. Waiting has never been my forte! And today is a sad waiting. Nancy is "going home." Maybe she is already there. She is surrounded by her family and I know for her the journey will not be sad...hard to let go, but once she does, what JOY! As I prayed for her this afternoon the words to the old Keith Green song came to mind and I sang, "Oh Lord, You're beautiful. Your face is all I seek. And when Your eyes are on this child, Your grace abounds in me." Nancy has been a faithful servant and she will delight in seeing His face! I will miss her. There will be a big empty hole on earth. I am praying now for strength and peace for her husband and her children, her sisters, her Father (who has already watched his wife/Nancy's Mother, die from Cancer), her step Mom, my step Dad who is very close to her. Her daughter Tanya is to receive the shawl. It is to be her hug from me and her Mom!

I have been knitting on the Kiri as I wait. I need to get it done to mail overseas. It is coming along nicely and I am still worrying about having enough yarn! Because the pattern is so repetitive it is good to knit at a time like this. But since I have been knitting so much with lace weight I'm yearning for something big and chunky to knit with! LOL I have made an alpine snowflake hat and will put pictures up when I finish. And I need to put finishing touches on my daughters' sweaters, my son's sweater and block Kat's Moebius that I test knit and have been done with forever. So, even though I haven't been posting I have been busy.

This is now the second week of school for hubby and also for me homeschooling my son. This week I am seeing that it is becoming more routine than fun, but he still enjoys and I have enough resources (thanks to my Kindergarten teacher Grandmas, my Mom being a good garage saler, teacher hubby, the dollar store and being a lifelong bibliophile!) that I am able to do something a little bit different each day. It is very rewarding to see him growing and I hope he will continue to enjoy learning. This week I also start back at my Precepts ( Bible study. We are doing the book of Romans. It's a lot of homework but I am looking forward to that and I know Daniel will enjoy going back and seeing the kids. The girls will move out of the nursery and I am a little anxious for them. DD#1 is shy, plays more on her own and has stranger anxiety. But she will have her twin sister there. Since they are identical twins then I hope the people who work with them will actually take time to get to know them individually and not just as "the twins"! I am going to try and make a concerted effort to NOT dress them alike on Thursdays so that they will look more different. They may be "identical" but they are very different! My kiddos exhaust me but they are such a source of joy as well!

Well...back to reality...quiet time is over!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

An Autumn Kiri

Hi everyone...I think I have two readers...maybe I am talking to myself here, but I do enjoy a chance to write, though I haven't had much opportunity to truly write. I am always posting "on the fly" and I am doing that again tonight. I'm pretty beat. It was first day of school for hubby, a special ed teacher and the first day of school ever for my son who is almost 4. I am homeschooling and beginning with a preschool curriculum. I do not believe in pushing children before they are ready, but he really is chomping at the bit to learn. We had a whole hour one on one teaching time today. I was amazed. He called me "Mommy Teacher" and at the end of our session said "I love you Mommy Teacher." That is a gem I will carry with me to remind me on the hard days. If that were not enough, when he was getting ready to go to bed he came to see me at the computer and said, "Thank you to teaching me today Mommy." He is already looking forward to tomorrow. :o) I don't know about the rest of you, but in the middle of tragedies like our country is experiencing now, I need little spots of joy like this to carry me through.

On to knitting...I am working with the Alpaca Cloud Autumn. This yarn is really incredible! The pictures do NOT do it justice and I have seen this on other people's blogs as well. It photographs really red and flat. I tried taking some red tones out but that only helped a little. The yarn is aptly named. It is a heather yarn with hints of gold and brown and orange mixed in with the rust. I am hoping "third time is a charm" will apply to this yarn. I had originally planned to use it to make a smoke ring and it turned out that it really needed the fingering weight for that. So I ordered JoLene Treace's Elizabeth scarf pattern and tried it in the Cloud. Knitpicks did knit it in Cloud but I didn't like how it was turning out, although I might try it later in a size 2 needle. So, I was wandering through knitting blogs and happened onto Kat's blog (creativepopoffs dot blogspot dot com) and saw that she was doing Kiri (see www dot alltangledup dot com) in the Cloud. It looked nice so I started it (see photo below). The photo doesn't do it justice. I really like it and now I am feeling a bit anxious. I only have the one skein and a shawl would really take about 3. I knew I wouldn't have enough for a shawl but was thinking a triangular I am concerned it won't be enough for that and am debating whether or not I should order more, which would be a different dye lot or ?

And I love the Kiri pattern because I like organic patterns. I would like to use the lace leaf in Kiri or the lace leaf that was in the Shetland Garden Faroese shawl and design a Faroese styled shawl with that pattern for myself. I still can't afford to get Myrna Stahman's shawl book or the Gathering of Lace and can't get at the library. I don't feel confident enough in my understanding of these things to forge along blindly, so I am having to wait patiently. I know my time will come and I have 17 boxes of stash to work through...but they aren't lace shawls! LOL Most of the stash is mish mash or half finished projects which is why I started this blog in the first place...finish those UFOs!!! Okay, I got my little self lecture out of my system...I think it's time for bed! LOL

The beginnings of Kiri. I tweaked with this a lot and just cannot get teh colors right. Posted by Picasa